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From the lens of Self‐Determination Theory, this study investigated the effects of a mobile application tool for identifying species on biology students’ achievement and well‐being. It was hypothesized that the mobile application, compared to a textbook, would enhance feelings of competence and autonomy and, in turn, intrinsic motivation, positive affect and achievement, because the mobile application’s built‐in functions provide students with choice and volition, informational feedback, and optimal challenges. Fifty‐eight second‐year students were randomly assigned to use either the mobile application or a textbook for a learning task. Well‐being was assessed before and after the learning task, and intrinsic motivation, perceived competence, perceived autonomy and achievement were assessed after the task. Results indicated that the mobile application, relative to the textbook, produced higher levels of students’ perceived competence, perceived autonomy and intrinsic motivation. Further, the mobile application had indirect effects on positive affect through autonomy, competence and intrinsic motivation, and on achievement through competence.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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